Royal Ontario Museum, Fresh on Bloor and Sneaky Dee’s
I went to the Royal Ontario Museum on Tuesday, a wonderfully huge museum which at the moment holds a special exhibit with Terracotta Warriors from China. I spent around three hours lost in the history, snapping photos here and there. The Museum has a special deal for students on Tuesday’s; free admission to the regular collection with student ID (the special exhibit was only 7$ more).
All that wandering got me hungry and I went down to the Museums cafe, there was a tofu wrap but otherwise they had minimal vegan options, so I went upstairs to C5 (their very beautiful restaurant.) Much like the Cafe, there were limited/no vegan options, but there was one item that had some potential of being veganizable (though it was made with a butter sauce, so who knows how well that would go over). I didn’t bother staying. But it was nice up there.
I started out by searching for “vegetarian restaraunts near Royal Ontario Museum” but didn’t find anything useful. So I walked down Bloor Street and saw Fresh. The name sounded familiar and I looked it up. Fresh is a primarily vegan restaurant, with dairy options and some honey/bee pollen products on the side if you’re into that sort of thing. They have three locations (so far) and have a great selection of smoothies and juices as well as some interesting menu items. I went to the one at 326 Bloor Street West (so Bloor Street at Spadina)
I went with the Quinoa Onion Rings as an appetizer, because the idea of quinoa being involved in a deep fried onion ring was novel enough, and I’m basically just a sucker for anything involving quinoa a the moment. These were genuinely delicious. Crispy, salty and did not taste good for me at all (since they probably weren’t.) My only regret is that I didn’t order a dipping sauce of some sort. Ketchup just wasn’t enough.
A friend had recommended the Dragon Bowl, so I ordered it against my better judgement, and I was right. I didn’t like it. I’m sure other people do, because I saw a whole bunch of bowls on the tables, I just found it really bland and boring. Even hot sauce didn’t save it. At least it looked nice. Some of the burgers on the menu looked quite appealing, if I go back to Fresh before I leave Toronto (if I leave Toronto) that’ll be my next choice.
I also ordered a chocolate vanilla cream filled cupcake, it wasn’t what I had my eye on, but it was decent. I imagine that’s what a Little Debbie Chocolate Cupcake tastes like. I’ve never had one, but it seemed about right.
Later that evening I went to Sneaky Dee’s (431 College Street, so on the corner of College Street and Bathurst St,) for some giant portions of nachos. They have a vegan nacho plate, which consists of a huge portion of tortilla chips covered in fresh veggies, salsa, guacamole. I ended up with much more food than I needed. Sneaky Dee’s is such a weird combination of sports bar, punk bar, and it looks like a total dive. But it’t one of my favourite places to visit, and I’m always amazed at how good the food is (albeit simple food.) Next time I think I’ll just keep it simple with a helping of pico de gallo and corn tortilla chips.
They also have vegan cupcakes! That are actually pretty good, they are on the dense side, this time there was a carrot cake one with a great icing on it. My favourite one in the past was the chocolate, it tasted very much like a McCain deep and delicious cake (in a good way).